Turkey dropped its opposition after striking a deal with the Nordic countries at the NATO summit, paving the way for the alliance to officially expand.
Finland and Sweden are now on an unencumbered path to joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a major expansion of the Western alliance as war continues in Europe.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in May, a historic shift for two traditionally non-aligned countries. But what many expected to be a rapid and relatively smooth succession process got sidetracked after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan objected to their bids because of what he saw as the countries’ support for Kurdish groups that Erdogan regards as terrorist organizations, and because of the countries’ arms embargoes on Turkey. All 30 NATO countries must approve any new members, so Erdogan’s objection was an effective veto.